Sports graduate Caitlin Walker tells us about her experience
Caitlin Walker has gone from strength to strength in her dream role as a Disability and Sport Development Coach for Burnley F.C. after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire.
University of Central Lancashire BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and MA Physical Education and School Sport graduate, Caitlin Walker, is working in a dream role for Burnley F.C. as a Disability and Sport Development Coach.
Caitlin, who graduated from UCLan with her MA in 2019, works for Burnley F.C. in the community as a Premier League Kicks and Disability Coach, teaching P.E to children with Special Educational Needs in the Burnley and Pendle area.
Whilst at UCLan, Caitlin was offered the opportunity to complete a year’s Goalkeeper Coach mentee placement based at Blackburn Rovers Regional Talent Centre (RTC), where she gained the FA Level 1 in Coaching Goalkeepers. Caitlin impressed them so much that she was offered the chance to be mentored by Blackburn Rovers RTC Goalkeeper Coach, Kristian Whalley.
Blackburn Rovers RTC for girls is an integral component of the FA's talented player pathway for eight to 16 year-olds and is considered to be one of the best performing and producing centres in the country.
"I enjoyed my time at UCLan. I took advantage of opportunities available to me as a student to help develop myself and others through coaching and other valuable experiences."— Caitlin Walker, BA (Hons) and MA graduate
Speaking about this opportunity, Caitlin said: “I was one of just five to be offered this opportunity, with the others going to other talent clubs in the North West. It was a great opportunity for me and I got to develop my coaching skills over the year.”
The Coaching Goalkeepers course was arranged through the Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre and is just one of a number of short courses that Caitlin completed during her time at UCLan. She said: “I’ve completed courses in Coaching Disabled People, Disability in Sport, First Aid and my Level 1 in Coaching Futsal course. I’ve also done my FA Level 1 in Coaching Football and more recently I’ve completed Level 2.”
Football-mad Caitlin supports Arsenal F.C. and plays for Penwortham Town F.C. Ladies, as well as the Ladies First Team at Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre. Caitlin has also spent time coaching football in North America with Challenger Sports, which has taken her Canada, Alabama, New England and Texas.
Speaking about her time studying at University and what advice she’d give to current students, Caitlin said: “I enjoyed my time at UCLan. I took advantage of opportunities available to me as a student to help develop myself and others through coaching and other valuable experiences. Sir Tom Finney F.C. and Soccer Centre is an extraordinary club which UCLan is lucky to be linked with. I would recommend to students to coach/volunteer there as the club have so many connections outside of the footballing community.”